Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Look Back

What a year it has been!  Hard to believe we're about to ring in a new one!

Jan:  Started the 2014 off to a bang, when Endless Love was nominated and won 1st Runner Up in the LRC Annual Reader's Poll:)  It was a huge honor to be nominated (my 1st!), and I was even more touched by the people who voted for me.  Thank you all, so much!

This was also a transition month for us, as the spouse and I became full time caregivers to our 18 month old granddaughter, since our daughter began working the overnight shift at McDonalds.

Feb:  After spending a few weeks cleaning up 'Star Crossed Lovers' and sending it off to a few beta readers, I sent it off for submission.  Then sent off my laptop for repairs before the warranty ran out.  Bronchitis claimed me again, plus I watched to Sochi Olympics and watched as Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Bronchos in the Super Bowl.  Peyton Manning showed up, but the rest of his team didn't....

I also broke down and got my 1st pedicure, painting my toenails a lovely shade of red:)

March:  My youngling was complaining of being bullied, and when I asked the teacher about it, she hadn't noticed anything.  I was getting increasingly irritated by the daily fight every morning to get W out of bed and to school, and seriously began looking into home schooling him.  I met with two teachers from K12 and received encouraging results.  I decided to apply and leave it in God's Hands.

I also spent a wonderful weekend in Madison, In, and doubled my sales from last year:)  In 2015, the event is going to be held INDOORS, so definitely looking forward to a return trip!  Spend the first half of Spring Break with my parents, then the honorary grandkids spent a week with us.

April:  Our router died, and suddenly my laptop would NOT recognize it!  The only way I could access the internet was to use the desk top.  My publisher rejected SCL....said plot was 'flat' and 1st sex scene 'unimaginable'.  Plus, this is when my publisher was being ripped to shreds by a disgruntled person on another forum, so I think I got caught in the 'see-we-don't-accept-just-any-wip'.  I sent it off to Publisher #1.  My Uncle Mac passed away, so spent the day before Easter in Mooresville, and catching up with cousins I'd not seen in over 15 years.

May:  Had 2nd pedicure, this time spring green:)  K and I went to the Indy 500, and was informed A and J were coming to spend 'a few weeks' with us.  I knew that really meant the entire summer, and when friend M asked if I could watch her child, I hesitated, but agreed when she said it would only be a few hours each day.  Still, I braced myself for a stressful summer.

Then K12 approved us for the following year, and I had mixed feelings over that.  How was I going to write, school W, and take care of little A?  D assured me he'd help out.

June:  I grew increasingly irritated with the neighborhood kids, and jokingly complained I was now running Aunt Molly's Home for Wayward Kids or Whose Parents Worked or Didn't Work, But Didn't Provide Entertainment.  Friend M and I went to see the Women of Duck Dynasty, and I spent a wonderful weekend at my JHS 30th Reunion.  We'd also driven up for the day for Miss A's 2nd birthday lunch at O' Charley's.  I also began to watch Star Trek: DS9 on NetFlix.

July:  After not hearing anything from Publisher #1 about the status of my submission, and having a conversation with #3 about improving my manuscript, I decided to pull it from #1 and resubmit it to #3.  It was accepted first by #3, then four hours later an acceptance arrived from #1!  I emailed #1 and respectfully declined the offer.

After realizing having the honorary granddaughter around was a plus (she entertained the now 2 year old granddaughter), she and her brother moved back home and into their new apartment.  MDQ had discovered a love of baking, and also kept us in cheesecake and pies.  Unfortunately, our food bill had nearly doubled.  My publisher also agreed to put AU #7, Love Weighs In, in print, so I might be eligible for an Author's Fair in Dec.  My copies arrived, and I sent one off for submission.

Aug:  My sister arrived for a week (her kids had been here for two, but due to the extra people in my house, we weren't able to come see them) and we met at my aunt's house first for a pool party, then celebrated Mom's birthday a week later at Red Lobster.  Youngling's school supplies arrived, and we spent a week in orientation, then going through the lessons.  Our morning struggles were over!

Edits arrived, along with a change of title.  Star-Crossed Lovers became Heart's Last Chance:)  I also attended the Watermelon Festival and discovered a 'plus' for being a regular at karaoke:  Ernie not only gave me paper clips when I ran out, but supplied me with free sweet tea all day long, and cooked me lunch:)  At the end of the month, I attended the Wine and Art Fair in Washington, and sold out of the print copies:)

I attended the MHS 30th Reunion, with mixed results.  Some people were happy to see me, while others remained cool.

Sept:  I spent a week with my mom, who'd been in the hospital with back pain, and decluttered the storage room and the top of her desk.  Heart's Last Chance released, and I spent two weeks on a blog tour.  We went roller skating with the K12 group in Evansville, and had a blast, though I was very disheartened to learn I'd lost my ability to skate.  I also had my eyes checked and discovered the pressure was up in my left eye.  I loved my new glasses:)

Oct:  I was invited to be a part of the Indy Christmas Toy and Hobby show in November, so I decided not to do any more craft shows, in order to build up my inventory.  I spent another five days with Mom, and this time W, A, and S came with me, which stressed me out more.   We went to the pumpkin patch with the K12 group and everyone had a great time, including A!  She went through the maze, played some of the games, and had a wonderful time.  For Halloween, W was a Ninja, and A Sophia the 1st.  Cold weather set in, so there was really no trick or treating.  Recheck of my eyes revealed pressure was still up.

Nov:  Spent yet another wonderful week with my mom, and reorganized her filing cabinet.  Finished writing the 4th book in The Chosen, then got back to work on #2.  I finished NaNoWriMo just barely over the word count minimum!  Recheck of left eye revealed a slight increase, so was referred for a full glacouma work up.

Dec:  G workup traumatized me, and I'm still too emotional to talk about it.  Celebrated K's 23rd birthday with steaks, and I chose to have mine celebrated at Gilbert's.  After T-day, I'd taken MDQ for a shopping spree at Maurice's, and the weekend of Dec 14th, the daughter and I went.  Both girls got clothing, and I found new shirts, jeggings, and a pair of riding boots.  Celebrated Christmas at home, then came back to my mom's to help out after her back surgery.

Come back tomorrow as I recap last year's goals and post my new ones!  Also, take a look back as to the reading and karaoke lists:)

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop

Merry Christmas and welcome to the 1st annual Stuff-Your-Kindle Blog Hop:)

What is it, you ask?

It's  where you 'hop' from blog to blog, leaving comments, and at the end of the week, you might be the lucky recipient of a book or two:)  Sound good?

Where do you start?  You're here, aren't you?  Oh, you mean where do you go from here?  A good place to go is over to the SCP Blog, where you're sure to find the rest of the links.

If you're not familiar with my books, my Arbor University series is caught in its own little sub-genre.  It takes place in the 1980 (historical); deals with college-age women as they deal with Life, Love, and each other (Women's Fiction/Mainstream); while it's too descriptive for Young Adult, there are themes which fit it, as well as New Adult, but not explicit enough for Erotic.

Confused yet?

Why not take a chance and see if you like it?

For a chance at my favorite, Forbidden Love, tell me your favorite Christmas Carol.  I'll pick a winner on Monday.

Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing an Auto Technology career in the middle 1980s.  The college is located in the fictional town of Arbordale, Indiana, and Keri’s dream is to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team.  Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man, Kyle Sampson, who happens to be going through a divorce.  With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity.  Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?

Kyle is not without problems of his own.  He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams so quickly, before the ink is even dry on the divorce petition.  Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection.  But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages.  Sometimes it blows up in your face.

"Your body is a special gift that you can only give once," she said. "A lot of guys think it's fun to teach the joys of sex, others don't care. It sounds like Kyle's the caring type, isn't he?"

"Yes," Keri perched on the end of Gretchen’s bed.

"You're lucky. My first one was a rotten experience. But also," she cautioned. "There may be someone out there who's your soul mate, one who'll be happy you waited for him."

"Yeah, but Kyle feels right."

"So do a lot of other things that are bad for you," Gretchen pointed out. "Go with your gut feelings. Don't compromise yourself in any way, and don't do anything until you feel ready."

"I hadn’t thought of that. So it’s sort of like the advice we heard in Health class, if you have to ask if you’re ready, you’re really not? Thanks!"

"Any time."

Remember, let me know your favorite Christmas Carol and leave me your contact info in the comments.  I'll pick a winner on Monday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Flashback Friday: Green Christmas:)

Dec 1994:
Grandma G wasn't expected to live much longer, so we packed up Christmas and took it to Florida.  My parents put us up in the resort around the corner from Grandma's complex, and I'll admit, it was stressful for me.  I had a spouse who griped about everything, even when I tried to show him some of my favorite places.

"Why do you like this place?  You don't eat seafood!"

"God, would you LOOK at these prices!"

"Will your sister please shut UP for one second and quit harping at everyone?"

We took one day and drove to Bradenton to see my Great Uncle Mac and his wife, Carol.  We enjoyed the drive and the visit, though I was still on edge about the SU's attitude, but he and Uncle M got along fine.

Another issue I had was getting my presents back into suitcases.  Mom had to let me use one of Grandma's.

We'd celebrated my 29th birthday somewhere; I don't really remember.

Next Month:  Emergency Trip Back To Florida

Present Day:
Happy birthday to me:)

I have a treat for you:  For the past two weeks, I've been posting small excerpts on Facebook, both on Molly and Kenzie's pages.  Leave me a comment with the answer to this question:

Wild At Heart is set in two states.  Which two?

BONUS:  Name the university where Gretchen, Amy, Stephanie, Lynn, Susan, Caitlyn,and Keri graduate from.

BONUS #2:  What's the name of Tricia's cafe?

Yes, I'm in the mood to award some gifts.  For your choice of a free pdf, answer the question(s) and leave me your contact info, so I can award the winner in the morning.

Have a great day!

Karaoke Songs:
Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)
I Will Be (Leona Lewis)
Pride (U2) OR Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns-n-Roses)
All About the Bass (Meaghan Trainor) OR Separate Ways (Journey)
If I Close My Eyes Forever (Ozzy/Lita Ford)
Broken (Amy Lee/Seether)
You and I-Lady Gaga
Don't Deserve You (Plumb) OR Let It Go (Frozen)

I'm hoping Mark will let me sing more than once per hour!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback Friday: I'm the SHORT one?

Dec 1984:
Took my first final exams,one at 6am-bleh.  Did well, then caught a ride home.

Discovered my younger sister was now taller than me, which presented an issue at church.  People would come up to us and ask her about college; I'd politely remind them SHE was still in high school, and 'Shorty' was the one away at college!  I have positive proof that back in Easter, I was still taller than she was, lol!

Had three glorious weeks off for vacation, and T came up for my birthday celebration at Mt. Jacks. Afterward, he and I took a drive, but he couldn't stay long, since he lived in Carmel, In, on the north side of Indy.  Forgot to mention; I saw him after Thanksgiving, and he drove me past his house.  Before we left, he cautioned me his house was 'small'...he didn't know I was well acquainted with the house sizes in Carmel, so when I saw it, it DID meet my expectations!

We celebrated Christmas with my father's family, as usual, and on Christmas Eve, ended up sitting next to my 9th grade crush, with an 'OMG....what was I THINKING' moment, after realizing who he was!

Christmas Day, after opening presents and eating breakfast, we headed to Indianapolis to my great-grandmother's house.  W and I had received our Polaroid One Step cameras, and were experimenting.  W was also getting ready to leave for Disneyworld with her friend K, so Dad soon took her to the airport.

I think she was back in time for New Year's Eve; we watched the ball drop and went to bed after ushering in 1985.

Present Day:
I've been told I can Christmas shop on Wednesday, payday!

This week, I've made M&M cookies, and will probably write out the cards this weekend.

Karaoke Songs:
Head Over Heels (Go-Gos)
Heartbeat (DeFranco family)
Hot Child in the City (Nick Gilder)
Hey Jude (Beatles)
Angel of the Morning (Juice Newton)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flashback Friday: OUCH! She Did WHAT?

Dec 1974:
This month started off with a bang when one of my classmates, TA,didn't show up for school one day.  Mrs. M told us that she was in the hospital, having eye surgery.  While wrapping a present, and using scissors to curl ribbon, something had happened and the scissors went through her eye.  

This affected me the most, since I have a huge eye phobia, and was determined never to curl another ribbon!

My sister's preschool program put on a Christmas show, and during it, she held up her dress the entire time.  Friend KB went with me, and we had a good time.

My 9th birthday was celebrated at both grandparent's houses, as was Christmas.

I do remember happily sledding down friend KE's driveway during our Break:)

Next Month:  1st Slumber Party!!
Present Day:

A huge shout-out to two friends of mine who married today!!!  Congratulations  Kelly and Michelle Ash!!!!

Karaoke Songs For Tomorrow:
Hard To Say I'm Sorry (Chicago)
Hopelessly Devoted To You (Olivia Newton-John)
Summer Nights (clean version!) (ONJ and John Travolta)
Hot Blooded (Foreigner)
Hot Child In The City (Nick Gilder)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December's Here!!! Wait-It's DECEMBER???

In case you've not heard the news, NaNo went well for me:)  The Women's Retreat was successful, and I received good feedback on my talk.  Plus, I not only finished Kira's story (52K) but I also wrote Ch 4-7 on Niko's story!  I did 'win', by squeaking over the 50K mark at 50,005 (whew!), and now it's time to finish Niko and send him off to a beta reader.  I think it's slightly crappy, but that's for my beta to decide.  My job is to get the damn thing written first.

Looking Ahead To This Month:
1)  Christmas Shopping:  I've bought exactly ONE (1) present.

2)  Christmas Cards:  I DID remember to send out the rent in one!  So that's one name off my list of maybe 40...

3) Birthdays:  K's falls on a Monday, and mine's on a Friday.  K only wants to be taken out to dinner, since he'll have to work that day.  I'll most likely spend mine either baking or wrapping.  I did buy my birthday outfit, and hope to wear it both Friday AND Saturday nights:)

4)  Baking:  Haven't quite figured out how I'm going to write AND bake this month.  Write in the morning?  At night?  I know I typically bake in the afternoon.

Reading Schedule:
The Emperor's Children Interesting....
Christopher's Diary- VC Andrews  Boring.  Kristin's character was interesting, but just another rehash of FITA.  You don't learn anything new.
The Closers-Michael Connelly

I Want to Sext You Up-Amber Skyze Loved this!!!
Chick Magnet-Mary Martinez  LOVED THIS!!  DRR
The Troubles-Tricia Anderson
Cowboy Up-Various Had issues with the 3rd one, but the others were fantastic!
The Gentleman's Harlot-Natalie Dae
Slave-Sherri Hayes
Sticky Magic-Raine Delight
Lust On Tap-Liz Crowe
Blind Faith-Sandra Tilley
Laura Meets Jeffrey-Jeffrey Michaelson
Breathing His Air-Debra Kayn
Lawman-Regina Carlysle
Winning His Wife-Sandra Sookoo
Baby Stetson-Nikki Lynn Barrett, et al

Karaoke Songs:
Hard To Say I'm Sorry-Chicago DNH
Head Over Heels-Tears For Fears Did okay
Head over Heels-Go-Gos Not bad:)
Hey Jude-Beattles Bleh...voice broke and sounded BAD!
Hot Blooded-Foreigner Not bad
Hot Child in the City-Nick Gilder Pretty good!
(Birthday week):
Where The Streets Have No Name-U2  Nailed it:)
I Will Be-Leona Lewis  Received applause:)
Hotel California-Eagles Nailed it:)
How Am I Supposed To Live w/o You-Michael Bolton Ick!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Flashback Friday

Nov 2004:
This was a month of upheaval.  Stepdaughter decided to leave the baby daddy; SIL announced she was divorcing her hubby.  D and I began to have issues, since my mother announced she'd purchased tickets for all of us to fly to Ottowa over Christmas, in order to spend the holiday with my sister, BIL, and 1.5 y/o D,  But my spouse rebelled, saying he was NOT going anywhere over Christmas but to his mother's, since 'she might not be around much longer'.  The kids and I were free to go, but he was staying put.  And when he found out we were to leave Christmas Day?  OMG...the shit hit the fan.

I began having sleep issues.  I'd sleep two hours, then couldn't go back to sleep.  When four days passed and I'd only slept a total of 8 hours, I consulted Mom, who said it was stress, and for me to call the doctor.  She also agreed to see if she could switch our tickets to the next day.

The doctor called me in a prescription for Ambien.  I took one Friday night, and slept VERY well!  Mom called and said she'd managed to change our departure date, which calmed D down somewhat.  When we arrived at my MIL's for Thanksgiving, and she found out about our travel plans, she warned me some airports were strip-searching, and what about that?

"Maybe I'll get a cute security guard?"

She wasn't amused.

Present Day:
We had a very enjoyable T-day yesterday, with a 22 lb turkey, mashed potatoes, noodles, stuffing, peas and carrots, a  raw veggie tray, fruit tray, bacon-tomato cups, homemade biscuits, cheesecake, blackberry cream cheese pie, apple pie, and cake.  Friend Jackie and 6 y/o daughter/granddaughter Lily spent the day with us, and I was able to watch most of the parade this morning.

I also sang at the 8am service this morning at Old Cathedral.

Planning to drag out the Christmas decorations today and letting Ariel and Jaevon set things up.  S has to work 9-5, so maybe some of it won't get set up until later.

Karaoke Songs For Tomorrow:
Heart Like Mine-Miranda Lambert
Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue
Harden My Heart-Quarterflash
Birmingham-Amanda Marshall (if there's time; I have to leave at midnight, due to singing at 8 Sunday)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Flashback Friday

November 1994:
This was a somber month, since my mother took a leave of absence in order to care for my grandmother in Florida, who had been diagnosed with esophogial cancer.  My paternal grandfather passed away, so my sister and I supported our father, along with Granny, during the awful week.  We spent Thanksgiving with the spouse's parents, since we would be flying to Florida in December.  The kids were really too young to understand what was going on

Present Day:
I was finally able to finish Kira's story this week!  It ended being 52,073 words:)  Now back to work on NiKoh's story!

I don't know if I'll 'win' NaNo this year or not, but if I can work on Niko's story every day, and average 1400 words, I should be able to make quite a dent in it.

Awesome news!
1)  I signed up for two slots for next year's Christmas Gift and Hobby Show, to be held Nov 11-15th.

2)  Kenzie's 2nd review arrived!  This one's from TRS:  "I enjoyed this paranormal romance story. This is a fast-paced story that is filled with action, and a lot of hot and steamy sexual encounters between the two main characters." To read the full review, go here.

Not-So-Awesome News:
Saw the eye doctor for another check of my eye pressure, and not only is it still elevated, it's higher.  So he's referring me to the Eye Care center for a full glaucoma work up.  Since I have ZERO history of it in my family (or so I thought....more on this in a moment), the Dr thinks it's merely occular hypertension and treatable with drops.  I just learned via my cousin Pam, my great-uncle had it.  Thanks, Uncle Mac....

Weekend Plans:
MDQ and ME are arriving tomorrow; all three little ones have the entire week off next week.  Since the grandkids couldn't come over Fall Break, we said they could come down over the holiday.  I plan to write most of tomorrow, then head to karaoke.

Hold On To the Night-Richard Marx
Head Games-Foreigner
Hooked On A Feeling-BJ Thomas
Birmingham-Amanda Marshall
One Tin Solder-Joni Mitchell

Choir is singing at Sacred Heart at 10:30, so I'm VERY happy there is no CCD class!  I can take MDQ with me, if she wants, and the rest can stay home.

Amazing Race:
Thank GOD Tim and Tee-Jay were finally sent home!  I'm sorry; I found them very annoying.  Adam and Bethany used their Express Pass, which, from the previews of next week, they're going to wish they'd held onto it one more week.  We'll see what happens!

NaNo Word Count So Far:   20,933    2/5 of the way to my goal:)  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flashback Friday: Catching Up...Again....

Yes, I know; I've been a bad blogger again.  Last week was just crazy, between the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show on Thursday (sold 4 books!) and the Christ Renews His Parish Women's Retreat over the weekend!  I was busy making cookies last Friday.

Nov 1974:
We celebrated at my Granny McIntire's house, with my cousin Michele.  At school, we were learning our Multiplication Tables, and I was very grateful for a wonderful Saturday Morning 'short' between cartoon, Schoolhouse Rock.  I loved the 'Three Is A Magic Number', 'A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing', 'I'm Just A Bill', and 'The Constitution' jingles the best.

TM and I kept advancing our relationship.  Finally, Nov 2nd, it went as far as it could.  I don't regret it; it was a wonderful experience.  My only regret is I didn't wait a bit longer.  But I can't see the future, and I had no idea my Soul Mate would arrive in just another year.

For Thanksgiving that year, I think we just had a quiet day at home.  I DID manage to make it into a picture in the 1984-85 yearbook.  There's a picture of the crowd at the State Band Finals, and while the main focus is two girls in the guard, in the background you can clearly see me, my dad, and my sister, as we cheered JHS to a 4th place victory:)

Fashion:  Layers was the rage.  I would wear a polo with a multi-colored collar, a white long-sleeved Oxford shirt, then pull my blue and green monogrammed sweater over everything.  Yes, this kept me warm!

Present Day:
I'm currently in Lafayette, helping my mom with Phase #3 of the Great Decluttering Project of 2014, ha ha.....we need to 'find' the kitchen table, since Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up!  Today, we cleared the card table, only for Mom to pile two more stacks on it.  So that's tomorrow....then I'm off to Karaoke.

Saturday, I'm off to Indy Unmasked, and hope to meet Carly Phillips, Mahalia Levy, and Morgan Wyatt.  Don't think I'll be buying books, but I'll take pics and pick up swag.  Yes, I'm broke.  Then home and more karaoke.

Songs I Plan To Sing:
Going to do a 'Heart' theme.....
What About Love
All I Want To Do
Greatest Love of All  (want to get this on video)
You Haven't Seen The Last of Me (if there's time)

Better Dig Two
Edge of 17
Magic Power
I Will Be

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Reading Schedule

Looking Ahead To This Month:
1) It's Nano, and my project is on my dead laptop.  It's currently being checked to see if it is salvagable or data recovery is all I will get.  I HAVE to get this written this month, since I don't typically write during December.  Hopefully, I'll get to work on it this week.

2)  Christmas Toy and Hobby Show:  I was invited to participate, so Thursday the 6th, we're headed up to Indy for the day:)  I have print books; gift bags; candy; and blurb booklets for sale.  Anything to get my name 'out there':)

3)  Women's Retreat:  I'm a leader this year, so I've had monthly meetings this past year, and it's winding down:)  Next weekend, I'll be writing by hand in the evenings, and hoping for a successful retreat:)

4)  Helping Mom:  Planning to go up on the 13th, plus write.

5)  Thanksgiving:  I believe our choir will be singing at the church service, and I believe the grandkids will be here.  Hubby does most of the cooking.

6)  Christmas Shopping:  Lord, I don't know when I'm going to do it.

So yeah, this is going to be an interesting month!

The Weight of Silence Could NOT put this down last night!!  Page turner:)
Seeking Shelter-Morgan Wyatt  LOVED this!!  RR

Marriage Minded Lord-Sandra Sookoo Discovered I HAD read this already:)  Very good!
The Troubles-Tricia Anderson
Shut Out-Liz Crowe Good story!
Irish Rising-Marie Rose Dufour  Enjoyable:)
Cowboy Up-Various
The Gentleman's Harlot-Natalie Dae
Slave-Sherri Hayes
Sticky Magic-Raine Delight
Lust On Tap-Liz Crowe
Blind Faith-Sandra Tilley
Laura Meets Jeffrey-Jeffrey Michaelson
Breathing His Air-Debra Kayn
Lawman-Regina Carlysle
Winning His Wife-Sandra Sookoo
Baby Stetson-Nikki Lynn Barrett, et al

Karaoke Songs:
Hold On To the Nights-Richard Marx Bleh...'valiant effort'
Head Games-Foreigner
Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue Not bad!  Was complimented:)
Hooked On A Feeling-Blue Swede (BJ Thomas??) Not bad...
Hard To Say I'm Sorry-Chicago
Harden My Heart-Quarterflash Had people clapping along and singing:)
Head Over Heels-Tears For Fears
Head Over Heels-Go-Gos
Heart Like Mine-Miranda Lambert Not bad for 1st time:)

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Wrap Up

Today is Halloween, and Youngling is a ninja.  Granddaughter Alex is Sofia the 1st:)  I did NOT turn on our porch light last night, since our candy budget was limited.  Tonight is IT.  If you're not at my house tonight, you may not get any candy.  Unless you show up at the Toy and Hobby show on the 6th.  I'll have more then:)

Homeschooling:  Going well!  His scores are good, and his P/T conference went well:)  His teacher and I are on the same page as to what he needs to improve on.  (Study Island)

House Hunting:  Was a little disappointed when my plan last month didn't work out.  Plus, I tried to run away from home, but the kids came with me!  So really didn't accomplish much, and Mom asked when I could return w/o the other two, lol!  I DID have a great two nights of 'roke with friend Brenda.  Hope to return again in November and sing well again:)

Books Read:  18
            Print:     3
         E-Book: 15

Festival Prep:  I have 12 print books (plus whatever is left in storage); my CDs; candy; 21 blurb booklets (7 more in my printer, as soon as more ink can be purchased); and cover flats, trading cards, one copy of Balancing Act, and 3 more booklets to be picked up at Office Max.  I THINK I need to order three discounted tickets when we arrive, and I'm toying with taking our small tree along and maybe printing out small book covers to dangle from the branches.

Another author suggested plastic shot glasses with candy; I'll have to check the budget.  Maybe I can get them for next April's signing?

I also nearly fell over when I saw my sales report for Sept. FORTY (40) copies of Heart's Last Chance were sold!  I'm gonna have a niiiiice paycheck in either Dec or Jan!  Thank you soooooo much everyone who bought it!  And also mine:)

I'll post the November Reading Schedule and goals tomorrow:)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday: Family Plus Two

October 2004:
Forgot To Mention:  Honorary grandkids A and J came to live with us in September, since their mom was working nights in Indianapolis.  The plan was for J to arrive for dinner, spend some time with her kids, tuck them in at night, then head off to work.

But gas prices jumped.  Soon she began arriving only Friday night....then Saturday morning....Saturday afternoon....Saturday night....Sunday for a visit.

A was 3, J was 2.  I don't remember what everyone dressed up as for Halloween; that particular photo album is packed away in storage.

What I DO remember vividly is 2 y/o J, standing by W in his exersaucer, yelling because W was smacking him on the head.

"Honey, you can move away.  He can't!"

J was also very unhappy to be separated from his mommy, and one afternoon he threw such a fit, I had no choice but to grab him and hold him tight; he had totally lost control and didn't know how to calm down.

We eventually settled into a routine.

Present Day:
I plan to go ahead with my plan to dress up as Betsy Ross/Molly Pitcher tomorrow night, and since I have to be at church at 7:30 am, I'll have to leave at midnight.  So the two or three songs I plan to sing are
Famous In A Small Town
Let It Go
Edge of 17.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday

Forgot to post last week, due to being at my mom's....

Oct 1984:
TM and I began dating Sept 20th, and over the course of the next 6 weeks, I slowly lost my resistance to every overture.  Right before Fall Break, we were lying on my upper bunk, cuddling, when three knocks came at the door (our signal), followed by the sound of a key turning in the lock.  Since I wasn't sure if the sight of me laying on my bed with the opposite sex was going to be frowned upon, I decided to get off the bed asap.

Instead of landing gracefully on my desk chair, then leaning casually against the beds, I ended up wrestling with my chair, then falling onto the floor.  I laughed; TM looked down while laughing; EY and EK had expressions of 'WTH...'

And then I tried to stand up.

Pain shot through my left foot.

One of the guys we knew was an EMT, so we called him down.  He examined me, then suggested a trip to the ER.  So we went, and I ended up on crutches.

Over Break, Mom took me to my doctor, who injected dye to see the foot more clearly.  Result:  It was NOT a hairline fracture, just very sore.

I still had issues putting weight on that foot, and TM piggy-backed me when it became too painful.  For years after, I could always tell when rain was approaching:)

By Halloween, I was healed, and wore my punk-rock outfit to a dance.  EY borrowed my shirt earlier for another party, and GW dressed in black leather, while KC wore black pants and electric blue shirt and went as a rock fan.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving and going to State Band Finals

My next MOPS meeting went well, with the exception of the craft project.  I don't remember what it was; I just remember it fell apart.  S had objected to being in the nursery, so she accompanied me to the meeting and happily drank a bottle and charmed the women at my table.

For Halloween, we dressed 2 y/o K as a mouse, and S as a little pumpkin.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving:)

Present Day:

Trying to add more words to book #4 of The Chosen series.

Tomorrow's Karaoke Line Up:
Hold On Loosely-38 Special
Hold On To the Nights-Richard Marx
Holding Out for a Hero-Bonnie Tyler
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Magic Power-Triumph

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Triple D Dude Ranch Tour:)

Today I'm hosting friend and fellow SCP author Beverly Ovalle:)  Take it away:)

Triple D Dude Ranch
By Beverly Ovalle
Published by Secret Cravings Publishing
October 4, 2014
Buy Link

One look ignites a smolder between Dan and Blaire, one touch sparks a wildfire that burns out of control, hotter than the Texas sun.

Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.
Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.

One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.

Clean Excerpt:
Graduation had her moving to Chicago. After a couple of years of living and working there, she realized that Chicago couldn’t give her the life she thought she’d wanted. What she wanted was right here in Texas, so when she got this assignment she packed her bags, subletted her apartment, and headed home.

The GPS announced she was there. Looking around, Blaire spotted the driveway; it was hard to miss. The wrought iron arch over the drive simply proclaimed Triple D Dude Ranch. She frowned. The drive was just as dusty as the road and there was not a hotel in sight.

Sighing, Blaire put on her signal and pulled over. She stopped and grabbed her camera. A picture of the arch, with the wrought iron words showcasing the name, would be a perfect shot. Blaire opened her door and groaned as the leather made a sucking sound as she peeled herself off. Maybe she shouldn’t have shucked her panties at that last stop. She hadn’t thought about peeling herself off the leather seats, only how infernally hot the day was. Stepping out, she looked both ways before she minced to the opposite side of the road. The heels of the unfamiliar and recently purchased cowboy boots and the long drive had made her a bit wobbly.

Blaire lifted her camera, uncovering the lens and holding the cap in her hand. No dust on the lens, she was glad to see. It wouldn’t have surprised her at all if there were. She felt like every crevice of her body had grit in it. Her cute Western outfit might never be the same. She felt wilted from head to toe. Lining up the arch in her lens, Blaire cursed as she dropped the lens cap on the ground. One of these days she’d remember to attach it with the string to the camera itself.

“Damn it!” Bending over from the waist, she picked up the cap from the ground; after all, it was a good opportunity to do one of her daily stretches. Blaire tucked it in the pocket on the front of her cute little denim skirt as she stood, like she should have in the first place.

Lining up the arch once again, Blaire could see that the dust continued, the drive a little smoother than the road coming in. Shaking her head, she snapped a picture. Moving around, she tried to capture it from different angles. She could always delete the ones that didn’t work.

Finishing, Blaire decided she’d had enough of the arch. There had to be at least one good one. She started back to the car when she heard a noise and whirled around.

Her breath caught and she instinctively lifted the camera for a shot. Holy hotness! That was          a real cowboy. Her eyes widened as she looked through the lens, quickly snapping a picture.

Author bio:
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 25 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines.  Her daughter Susannah visits from time to time to make sure us ‘old’ folks are alive and kicking.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets.

Contact Links:

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday: Halloween!

October 1974:
My father did something unusual.  He dressed up as Hagar the Horrible (cartoon viking character), with a black and silver outfit, hat, fake black moustache, and carried a plunger wrapped in aluminum foil.  I don't know if he and Mom attended a party, since Mom hadn't worn a costume, and neither did the friends whose house we went to!

Mrs M had encouraged our class to make our own costumes, but since I didn't have a clue what to do, I figured my dad had mine covered, so I went as a skeleton.  My sister was Mickey Mouse, and friend A was a clown.

In class, we were learning our multiplcation tables and Mrs. M was dearly trying to remove the word 'ain't' from our vocabularies.  She refused to answer anyone who used the word, and soon even I had quit using it.

"There ain't no such word as ain't, 'cause the teacher says there ain't!"

Present Day:
Yesterday's post seemed to be well received, and hopefully I'll hear soon whether or not Kabbage chose to promote my post.

Karaoke songs for tomorrow:
Hit Me with your Best Shot-Pat Benetar
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish
Hold On-Wilson Phillips
Invincible-Pat Benetar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Staying Productive

A few weeks ago, I was contacted me to ask about how I stay productive.  While I don't have all the answers, and at times I'm certainly NOT the most productive person in the world, I do happen to have a few things which work for me.  I recently found out about, which provides small business loans and helps increase their productivity.

First of all, who are you?
My name is Molly Daniels/Kenzie Michaels, and I need to clone myself.  One to write, one to watch TV, one to take care of the house, and one to do everything else.


Okay, okay.  Since my two busiest seasons are coming up, NaNoWriMo in November, and Christmas, this is a perfect time to remember these.

1)  Prioritize:  Not only am I a stay-at-home Mom, but a published author with two pen names, fourteen books, and four more due out in the next two years.  I'm also home schooling my youngest, caring for my two year old granddaughter, and dealing with a diabetic spouse who has a wound on his foot.  Yes, your read that correctly.  I'm essentially a teacher, Mom, Grandma, Author, Domestic Engineer (I hate the term homemaker), and Nurse.  I get up anywhere between 7:30 and 9 (that's the beauty of home schooling!) and go to bed around midnight.  

Obviously, the granddaughter takes precedence in the mornings, getting her changed and fed until her mom wakes up.  She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so while she watches it, I can check emails and social media sites.  Then I get the Youngling started on his schoolwork, which is a combination of independent work and me working with him.

Household chores are next; twice a week I tackle laundry and the kitchen patrol, while the spouse and daughter usually take care of the rest (and yes, they gripe about it!).

But what does this have to do with your writing?  I'm getting to that.

2)  Social Media:  I'll admit it; I'm addicted to Facebook.  But this also helps me stay focused.  HOW?  I post my word count.  I join other authors in word sprints or word wars, either on Facebook or Twitter, where we write for 45 minutes at a time, then post our word counts.  There's no prizes for who's written the most words; it's all about encouraging each other.  I like to do these between laundry loads.  I use that 15 minutes in between sprints to stay on both tasks, and it means I have to get up and MOVE.

3)  MUSIC:  I like to work with music in the background.  Years ago, when my older two were little, nap time was 'my time'.  I'd get them settled, put on Hooked On Classics (remember those?), and write for two solid hours.  This was before we had a computer, so I wrote in longhand, since my electric typewriter was noisy.

4)  Being Alone:  Sometimes I work best when the family members go somewhere and leave me alone.  I also call this a 'mini vacation', ha ha!  I can play my music as loud as I want, and no one complains if I play the same CD over and over.

5)  Change of Venue:  Sometimes, all it takes is for me to be elsewhere with my laptop.  I can be at the coffee shop, or at my writer's group for the words to flow.

How often do you do this?

Sadly, not often enough.  For example, over the summer I managed to get hooked on NetFlix, watching Star Trek Deep Space 9.  If I found myself with a free hour, I fired up my Kindle Fire and watched another episode.  I finished the series this past weekend, and now I'm catching up on shows I didn't watch this summer (Extant) and the new season of shows which began this month (Ink Masters, Good Wife, Madame Secretary).  The only ones I'm actively keeping up with are Survivor and Big Bang Theory.  Plus the new episodes of Ink Master; I think there are only 3 I've not watched.  Yes, I'm hooked on TV and my DVR.  See why I need a clone?

8 hours of sleep equals 16 hours of productivity.

Not quite.  When you factor in an hour for lunch and dinner, plus clean up, that reduces it to at least 13.  Plus I need at least an hour every morning to get ready for the day.  So now we're down to 12.  Not to mention when I have to spend at least two hours working with the Youngling-

I get it.  You're now down to ten.

Plus I read for at least an hour every day.  That makes it 9.  Add in my TV time and that's at least two more hours.  So we're back to 7.

So 7 hours to do laundry, grocery shop, make sure your son does his lessons, write, cook dinner, and keep up with social media.  Whew....I'm tired and all I did was write that sentence!

I also have to write blog posts, then spend time promoting myself on chat loops, facebook groups, and other social media sites.  That can take up to two hours.  We didn't even touch upon my spouse's doctor visits.

Wait a minute.  The purpose of this post was to talk about your PRODUCTIVITY, not reasons why you're UNPRODUCTIVE.

Hey, you started it with your 'how-many-hours-can-you-be-productive'.  What do you say we go to lunch?  That's another problem I have:  Procrastination.  Maybe my publisher will see this and give me a kick in the pants.  My next book is due to be released in March, which means I have to get the rest of it written and turned in no later than mid-January.

Forget lunch.  Let's go get a drink.  You've worn me out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October???

Where did September go?  Oh yeah, I spent a week and a half with my parents, and had to promote Kenzie all month long.  Which reminds me, I need to award some books....

Homeschooling:  Going well, though he hates Study Island and all the reading he has to do.  He didn't pass his unit assessment due to spelling, so I've begun adding spelling words every day.  At the end of each week, I'll give him a spelling test, with the hopes of by the time the next unit assessment rolls around, he'll pass it the 1st time.

House Hunting:  I'll be frank; I'm getting really fed up with the way the family treats me, and am considering just finding a place and moving in.  If the family chooses to come with me, great.  If not, well, then, we'll manage.  No, I don't want a divorce.  I just don't want to live with him anymore.  Does this make me a selfish bitch or finally standing up for myself?

Books Read:  7
           Print:  3
           E-book:  4

DS9 on NetFlix:  Finished the series on Sunday the 28th, so my addiction is over.  Unless I can find the final season of 90210....

Festivals/Signings:  I've been invited to be a part of the Indianapolis Toy and Hobby Show coming up in November, so I'm saving all my inventory for that event.  My local writer's group's antho should be going Live this month:)

October Reading Schedule:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot Very interesting!
The American Heiress-Daisy Very good!
The Importance of Being Wicked-Victoria Alexander Excellent!

Bluebonnets For Elly-Sandra Nachlinger Wonderful story!  DRR
Lust, Sex, and Tattoos-Sheri Velarde Good
Waking Up Lori- Eve Simon Good
Reunited By Chance-Sharon Katana Good story!  RR
Under A Dom's Care-Sam Crescent Wonderful story!  Too much 'F' word though.
Never Coming Home-Paloma Beck Good story!
One Night Stand-M.O. Kenyan So-so.  Skimmed a lot after Ch 5 or 6.
The Cover Model-Cheyenne Meadows LOVED this story!  DRR!
Love Notes-Brynn Paulin Good story!  RR
Stocking Full of Cole-BP Wonderful!  RR
Black Irish-Tricia Andersen Good:)
Heartland-TA Still good
Man On-Liz Crowe Not bad...
Red Card-LC  Enjoyed 1st half...
If You Want It-Tara Mills Good

Karaoke Songs:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot-Pat Benetar Not bad
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish Bleh
Hold On-Wilson Phillips Bleh
Hold On Loosely-.38 Special Yuck!
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Holding Out For A Hero-Bonnie Tyler Not bad...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Interview With Kyle Sampson and Contest:)

Welcome to the SCP Sweet and Historical Blog Hop!  For a complete list of this weekend's participants, go here.

Today, I'm showcasing book #3 of my Arbor University series, simply because I believe it's better written and you can easily 'catch up' with both Amy and Elicia from the first two.  So in the interest of keeping this short, here's the blurb:

Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing an Auto Technology career in the middle 1980s.  The college is located in the fictional town of Arbordale, Indiana, and Keri’s dream is to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team.  Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man, Kyle Sampson, who happens to be going through a divorce.  With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity.  Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?

Kyle is not without problems of his own.  He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams so quickly, before the ink is even dry on the divorce petition.  Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection.  But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages.  Sometimes it blows up in your face.

Buy Link:

(Reposted from 2012):
I sat down with Kyle Sampson, leading man of Fobidden Love.  He's fresh from his shift at the hospital, and decked out in green scrubs.  His vivid blue eyes are tired, but they light up whenever Keri's name is spoken.

M:  Welcome Kyle:)  It's been a long time.

K (nodding his head):  Yes it has.  How've you been?

M:  Doing well.  Inquiring minds want to know:  What possessed you to get involved with a college coed eleven years younger that you?

K:  Ever walk into a room and just know you're meant to be with someone?  That's what I felt when I looked into her eyes.

M:  Wow....that's romantic!  But another question I've been getting is why did you try to keep Keri a secret?  I spoke to her yesterday and even she doesn't fully understand.

K:  At the time I thought I was doing the right thing.  Lisa, my ex-wife, has a nasty streak in her, and I didn't want Keri to be the target of her wrath.  And with my son Rusty to consider...I just did what I could to protect Keri from all that.  She had enough to worry about, with school, her job, and working at the 500.  She didn't need any extra baggage; not when she needs to concentrate on the team.  What I regret is not meeting her before Lisa and I married....but she would have only been fourteen, so that would have been a definite no-no.

M:  Yeah....let's not go there.

K:  I appreciate you giving me a voice in this book; it shows I have a heart instead of just wanting her for her body.

M:  I decided it wasn't fair to you, to only show her side of the story.  I hope I got it right.

K:  I just wish you'd left in the early parts.  Couldn't you have squeezed it in somewhere?

M:  When I wrote Elicia's story, I didn't know I'd be cutting the first six chapters of yours and Keri's.  And then I had to cut the last few chapters because it bled into Gretchen and Caty's, so I felt it didn't need to be told three times.

K:  'Bled into'....I'm assuming you mean our story does continue?

M:  Oh yes.  Anyone who reads books 4 and 5 will read more.  She doesn't graduate until book #6...I think.  I might have graduated her in #5.  If she is in #6, she only plays a minor role.  Moving her age didn't bother you?

K:  Not in the least.  She doesn't act young; she's focused on her studies and future career; and I'm thrilled she chose me to be her first lover.  You have to remember; I grew up during the 70's, when sex was synonamous with 'Hello'.  It was actually refreshing to meet someone who had never even had a serious boyfriend before.  I was able to show her- teach her, if you will- how to live with a member of the opposite sex, and encourage her to explore her sexuality.  I borrowed the Kama Sutra from Sid's girlfriend Carole and-

M (holding up hand):  I get the picture! Thank you for sitting down with me today, Kyle.

K:  Thanks for giving me another chance to explain my side of things!

Forbidden Love is available now at SCP

Want to win your copy of Forbidden Love?  Answer this question:  How many PUBLISHED books are in this series?  Hint:  Look to the right side of blog.  I'll pick a winner on Monday, so don't forget to leave your contact info!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Flashback Friday and Congratulations Derrick!!

Sept 2004:
S amused us by being in the Accelerated Reading and Science Class, and how every afternoon she would announce "I have to study my Greek' (they were learning root words).  She did well, and enjoyed both classes:)

Baby W was now six months old and beginning to crawl everywhere, after mastering the art of sitting up.

Present Day:
Big Brother Finale:
I LOVED the fact Derrick won!!!  I had to wonder, though, if he 'threw' the final contest, so Cody would win, and he wouldn't be forced to pick between C and Victoria if he won.  But Cody won, and V went out the door:)  Then only two jury members voted for Cody, so congrats to the cop, who definitely deserves a raise for proving how well he used his skills!  I think this is the 1st time a player has made it all the way through and NEVER been up for eviction.  Well done!

Karaoke Songs:
Last year at this time, I let Mark choose my songs, since his birthday is the 30th.  This year, however, I'm going to stick to my list, since I'm a bit behind schedule.
Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)
High On You (Survivor)
High Enough (Damn Yankees)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benetar)

Come back tomorrow since I'm participating in the SCP Sweet/Historical Blog Hop:)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness

I've been asked by the lovely Heather Von St. James (pictured above, with her daughter Lily) to be a part of Mesothelioma Awareness Campaign, so here are the basics:)  For more information, visit Heather's Blog .

People most likely to contract mesothelioma are those who worked with asbestos, or even being around someone whose been exposed to the dust and/or fibers.  So if your loved one worked with asbestos and you washed their clothes, you're at risk (I did NOT know this!).

Signs and Symptoms:
-Chest pain
-Fluid surrounding the lung(s)
-Shortness of breath
-Wheezing, hoarseness, or persistent cough
-Blood in sputum*

Mesothelioma can be a difficult malignancy to diagnose because the symptoms of the disease closely resemble other respiratory conditions (I suffer from mild asthma, and since cold weather triggers it, I may have up to 4 symptoms noted above), and because the pathology can be very difficult to distinguish from lung cancer tumors.**

*taken from Wikipedia
**taken from Jack West, MD,  

The lesson here is, make regular yearly doctor visits, and if you suspect you've been exposed to asbestos, and are experiencing the above symptoms ALL THE TIME, please consult your physician.

National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is Sept 26th.

Another excellent source: